Learning to live life with passion
Annetta McDavid grew up in a military family, with her father serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force in postings across Canada. Despite frequent moves, Annetta remembers days filled with community activities, sports and family time outdoors. “We always participated in our community,” she says. “Diversity, kindness, hard work, caring and especially giving were things we grew up with.”
The family eventually settled in Saskatchewan. Annetta went on to university after high school but left when she didn’t find her niche. A few years in the work force made her realize that she liked working with numbers, and that led Annetta to the Business Accountancy program at Saskatchewan Polytechnic in Regina.
“It was called Saskatchewan Technical Institute back then,” Annetta says. “I moved from Saskatoon to Regina and didn’t know a soul except my roommate, so school quickly became part of my family. The instructors were very welcoming and worked hard to make you feel comfortable.”
During her program, Annetta participated in several work placements. As happens with so many Sask Polytech students, it was a work placement in retail banking that provided a springboard into a career.
Over the years, Annetta thrived at work. She married Dale Martens and together they enjoyed an outdoorsy life of camping, fishing and hiking. They bought an acreage outside Regina so they could each indulge their favourite hobbies—hot rods for Dale and horses for Annetta.
Life changed very suddenly when her husband and her father passed away on the same day. “My whole world changed in one day,” she says. “I realized that life is for living, and I decided to live life full and huge.”
This was the inspiration for Annetta’s legacy gift to Sask Polytech. “My husband had spent a lifetime in the automotive field. I wanted to create a legacy in his memory to help others, as so many people had helped him and us. An alumni newsletter from Sask Polytech gave me exactly the push I needed and put me in touch with the Advancement Department.”
Annetta established the Dale Martens Memorial Bursary to support students in Sask Polytech’s Automotive programs. She also made a provision in her will so the scholarship could continue into the future.
But Annetta’s love of animals, especially horses, inspired her to do more. When she learned about the Veterinary Technology program, she decided to leave a legacy bequest in her will to that program as well.
“It’s important to me to invest in the future, give back to the community and help those in need. Having worked in the financial services industry for so many years, I’ve seen clients and families giving back through their wills, and I knew it was easy to leave a gift in my will,” Annetta says. “The Veterinary Technology program was a perfect fit for what I wanted to achieve. Leaving a legacy is my way of helping train and hopefully retain our Saskatchewan talent.”
Significant losses in her life taught Annetta about living life with passion, and she believes that leaving a legacy to help future generations succeed is a big part of living passionately.
“Estate planning doesn’t need to be complicated. I’m so delighted to be able to earmark my gift specifically to reflect something that is so important to me. My goal is to make sure that I help not just one person but hopefully many,” Annetta says. “Life is short, precious. You never know what's going to happen tomorrow. If you can make it easier for those that are left behind, don’t wait, do it.”
Annetta is now retired from the banking industry, remarried and operating her own business working with horses in equine therapy.
Learn more at alumni.saskpolytech.ca.